With its expertise in smartphones, Samsung is aiming to conquer the PC market. We were able to ask the designer of the Galaxy Book 3 about the options, but also about the limitations of the brand.
Can Samsung dominate the PC like it conquered the smartphone? At MWC 2023, frandroid I had the chance to meet Hark-sang Kim, one of the masterminds behind the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra. More specifically, he is executive vice president and head of the new computing research and development team within Samsung Electronics’ Mobile eXperience Business division, which means he was involved in the technical choices behind the creation of Samsung’s cutting-edge technology. . ultraportable
We spoke to him about different aspects of the flagship’s design such as the interface, the challenges of an Oled display, repairability, and the future of the Odyssey brand.
Bringing the Galaxy experience to Windows
A Windows laptop and an Android smartphone are very different. Unlike in the mobile world, Samsung does not have full control over the design of the user interface. Where a Galaxy smartphone is inevitably distinguished from a Xiaomi smartphone under MIUI, laptops offer more or less the same interface, that of Windows 11. However, Samsung wanted to differentiate itself from the competition.
Hark-sang Kim explains that “ Several key features of the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra, such as syncing with a Samsung smartphone or the ability to use a Galaxy tablet as a second screen, are part of a larger One UI experience.”. This experience, Samsung promises” to keep it for several years with updates “, just like you do with your smartphones. To give a simple and concrete example, Samsung wants to keep the pre-installed apps on your Galaxy Book up to date so that the icons correspond well with those of future One UI versions on smartphones.
The know-how of Samsung in the Oled
It doesn’t stop at a simple software interface. Specifically, we wanted to ask you about the integration of the Amoled screen in Samsung equipment. This type of display technology is becoming more popular in high-end PCs, but the fear of screen burn-in in the long run is still there.
On this subject, he does not mince words and we will detail in a few points what Samsung has launched to avoid problems. First of all, and we can give you this point, it reminds us that ” the firm has been integrating Oled screens into its mobile products for many years»and that is why it has forged itself«subject matter experience “. On the PC, Samsung Electronics has been offering Oled displays for four or five years and“every two years, technology evolves to be more sustainable.”The panels that today equip Samsung laptops have inside“the fruits of these improvements”But that is not all.
Samsung has worked out several techniques with Microsoft to reduce the risks. The best known is the pixel displacement, already used in many screens. It consists of moving the image displayed on the screen to energize the pixels and ensure that they do not display the same element for too long.
You can change the storage.
In 2023, it is impossible to ignore issues such as the impact on the environment and the repairability of the product. Here, for an ultraportable, Samsung does not promise miracles. During our meeting we were able to attend a demonstration of the disassembly of the device. This one seemed very easy to us and only took a few seconds. Just remove a few screws to open the chassis and access the device’s storage. The Galaxy Book 3 Ultra offers an easily accessible NVMe port to allow the user to add additional storage. The brand could have gone further, but every little victory is worth taking advantage of.
And the Samsung Odyssey PC game?
Samsung only offers work ultraportables on the market, but the firm offers monitors aimed at gamers with its Odyssey line. The gaming laptop market is all the rage, one wonders if Samsung intends to give it a try. Hark-sang Kim obviously does not exclude this possibility without confirming it.
The engineer chooses his words well to explain to us that “the Galaxy Book 3 Ultra, with its GeForce RTX 4070 60W, can already offer video gamesand that Samsung wants above all to bet on an ultra-mobile experience. However, Samsung is “always opento the idea of expanding its range to Odyssey.
What Samsung didn’t tell us
We also asked questions about certain technical options, or rather about the limitations that Samsung must face today. Hark-sang Kim actually insisted on “the importance of accessible RAM for the CPU and faster accessible RAM for the GPU“. Today, however, Apple proposes to unify these two volumes into one.poolof very high-speed unified memory and this is more than achieved with the brand’s M1 and M2 chips. If Apple can afford it, it is thanks to the technical mastery of its hardware and in particular the use of ARM architecture to combine memory, CPU and GPU within the same SoC.
Faced with this contradiction, Hark-sang Kim prefers to highlight its partners such as Intel, Nvidia or Microsoft, which allow Samsung to market its Galaxy Book 3 Ultra today.
If it doesn’t openly support it, the manufacturer will also have to make do with a less agile legacy PC, still powered by AMD and Intel’s x86 architecture. Windows on ARM still isn’t a really compelling solution and Qualcomm isn’t nearly as relevant with its Snapdragons as it is on smartphones. The firm, therefore, has no choice but to wait if it wants to one day offer solutions as differentiating as those offered by Apple today.
Our colleagues from Numerama launch Watt Else, their newsletter dedicated to the mobility of the future. Sign up here to make sure you receive the next issue!